Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My first Bastyr recipe: Carrot Ginger Soup

Photo from Derek Sheppard.
Just so you don't get the wrong idea, I'm certainly not complaining about having a full-time job. Especially since the perks come with a whole new set of recipes that I definitely will be experimenting with in these pages.

Over the weekend, the second edition of my e-newsletter went out, and it included a link to one of our cafeteria's favorite recipes, Carrot Ginger Soup. I was hoping to give the recipe a whirl before I actually included it in the newsletter, especially since I was a bit wary of the huge portions of garlic and ginger: 1/4 cup each! But it turned out delicious, tasting just like the soup that's made in a much bigger batch for the Bastyr campus. Well, mine wasn't quite as smooth, since I didn't bother to pass it through a wire strainer after blending it. But it sure went down smooth!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Coconut Couscous with Prawns inspires

I realize that including recipes in Ruining Mom's Recipes that I found in the coupon section of the local paper has absolutely nothing to do with ruining mom's recipes, and for that I apologize. But honestly, since I started working full time again, it's been a bit difficult for me to find the inspiration to make new dishes as frequently as when my workload was a little more flexible (hence the slowdown in blog activity, again, I apologize).

My cooking magazines are stacking up, untried recipes marked and patiently waiting for a second glance. Meanwhile, the recipe I cut out from the Near East coupon page just a few day has been sitting on the counter, calling out to me: "You want Bangkok Prawns With Coconut-Infused Couscous." They are sneaky like that.

So finally, after weeks of tried and true recipes, I gave this newbie a try, and I will definitely be making it again. This is adapted from the Near East website (you have to find the recipe yourself because there's no permalink):

Bangkok Prawns With Coconut-Infused Couscous
For the couscous:
3/4 c. coconut milk
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 T. soy sauce
1/8 t. turmeric
1-1/4 c. couscous

For the prawns:
1 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 t. ginger, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (seeds removed if you're a wussy like me)
2 T. fresh basil, chopped
1 lb. large shrimp, deveined and shelled
3/4 c. coconut milk
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 T. lime juice
1/2 t. turmeric
1 T. cornstarch mixed with 2 T. chicken broth

Make the couscous: Bring the coconut milk, chicken broth, scallions, soy sauce and turmeric to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add the couscous, stir, then remove from heat and cover. Let set for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.

Meanwhile, make the prawns: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno, and stir for about 1 minute. Add the prawns and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the coconut milk, chicken broth, lime juice, turmeric and cornstarch slurry. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until thick, then serve over the couscous.

(The asparagus was coated with about 1 T. olive oil, 1/8 t. garlic salt, 1/8 t. kosher salt, 1/4 t. Mrs. Dash Garlic Seasoning and a dash of pepper, then roasted for about 12 minutes at 400 degrees F. It's a no-fail dish!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gorgonzola Tortellini still a treat despite its ubiquity

When I lived in Munich, one of my favorite non-German dishes was Cheese Tortellini with Gorgonzola Sauce. Because we were just over the Alps from Italy, there was no shortage of amazing Italian food in Bavaria, and I took as much advantage of that as I could. Since returning a decade ago (seriously?!?), a lot of the dishes that at the time seemed like they were only available in Europe since have migrated to Seattle. But I still like to make this dish on my own.

Cheese Tortellini with Gorgonzola Sauce
9-oz. package cheese tortellini
2 T. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. flour
1 c. fat-free half-n-half (or use cream and forgo the flour!)
1-2 oz. Gorgonzola
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. chopped ham

Cook tortellini according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet. Add garlic and flour, and stir with a whisk until thick and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Add half-n-half and continue whisking until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Turn the heat to low, add the Gorgonzola and stir until cheese is melted. Add peas and ham, stir until heated through.

Add tortellini to the sauce. Add a little of the water from the pot to moisten the sauce if it's too thick.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My own Li'l Smokey Bread Pudding

It's been awhile since I've made the Li'l Smokey Cheeseball, because every time I do I wonder what to do with the remainder of the smoked Gouda -- besides eat it, of course. This time, I decided it would taste great with the half-loaf of Swiss onion bread I bought five days ago and was since a bit on the hard side. Remedy? Bread pudding, of course!

Unfortunately, I didn't have a specific recipe, but I had enough other recipes that I was able to make a tasty dish.

Li'L Smokey Bread Pudding
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 T. butter, room temperature
8 small slices of days-old bread
1-1/2 c. smoked Gouda
1-1/2 c. nonfat milk
3 eggs

Cook bacon in a skillet until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.

Meanwhile, butter an oven-save dish, then line with four slices of the bread. Top with half of the bacon and cheese, then cover with the last four slices of bread. Sprinkle with remaining bacon and cheese. Mix milk and eggs in a small bowl, then pour evenly over the bread. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Cook in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes.